Creating First Ascent

Robin Hamer

First Ascent brochure

First Ascent brochure

We wanted to change everything.

In the climbing world at that time women were not catered for. Companies didn’t make outdoor clothing that was cut for women. Colours were either dark green or post box red. The number of women who even thought of themselves as climbers were few and far between.

We thought we could offer something different by taking the rough and toughness out of the experience and also appeal to people who hadn’t even thought this was something they might like to do.

Climbing is not necessarily about strength but rather technique and good footwork, more like dancing on the vertical. Thinking about it differently and coaching it with empathy worked and we discovered some great climbers.

First Ascent Inside brochure

First Ascent brochure

It must have seemed crazy for us to take on such a challenge with so few resources.
Money was always tight but we had great friends who helped.
When building work needed doing we learned to do it ourselves.
That was true for most of what we did.  We played to our strengths and I turned my hand to brochures, advertising and publicity.


First Ascent brochures

First Ascent was doing rather well, helped by articles in national magazines and features on radio and television. They knew a good story when they saw one.

At one stage we were producing more women climbers per week than any other centre in the country but what pleased us was that everybody came. We would have people from all walks of life sharing a meal around the table, brought together through a simple love of the outdoors.

Dancing over stone magazine articlearticle on First Ascent in Trail magazine

My articles and photographs were getting us free editorial and our expanded activities were showing up on front covers.

Derbyshire Life front cover

Lizzie Hamer on the front cover of Derbyshire Life magazine

Country Walking front cover

Robin and Lizzie on the front cover of Country Walking magazine

Ideal Home articleIdeal Home magazine article on a First Ascent 'sedate strolling' weekend


Robin Hamer

CV Developer

Creative, innovative and dynamic consultant.